By SANDRA MWILA
CITY of Lusaka executive led by Justin Zulu yesterday refused to heed counsel offered by Sports Minister Moses Mawere and accused him of meddling into the club affairs.
The executive committee during a meeting held at Cooperative College asked Mawere to stay away from club affairs as they vowed to sort out their issues refusing to embrace the guidance offered by the Minister.
Mawere, during a meeting held with Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) officials, City Interim board members, called for the two warring groups to reach a concession and harmonise the situation for the betterment of the club.
But the executive committee did not take the advise lightly stating that no one had the right to remove the Zulu led executive.
Zulu said City will follow their constitution to the latter and no one had the right to abrogate their constitution.
He said the executive was elected by the members and will not tolerate inference, divide rule and intimidation.
“It is against our constitution for us to be removed, what is the interim committee for? We don’t have a vacuum in the executive,” Zulu said.
General secretary Christopher Chilongo said the executive was duly elected and will not accept the Minister’s call to have a neutral committee in place comprising members from the two factions.
“We say ‘No’ to that, Shame Mawere. This executive was elected and we are guided by our constitution and the FIFA rules. No one can remove an elected executive unless our members,” Chilongo said as fellow executive members continued chanting anti Mawere slogan.
Chilongo further alleged that the Minister was interfering with their affairs hence having challenges to register their players for the 2018 soccer season.
He said FAZ had given the executive a go ahead to register their players ahead of the registration deadline which was yesterday.
“Till this hour FAZ recognises our executive, the general secretary (Ponga Liwewe ) has given us a go ahead to register players and as we speak our vice president ( Kapalamula Njobvu) is online registering players , executive and technical bench,” Chilongo said.
But FAZ general secretary Ponga Liwewe said Football House only agreed to register players from the two City of Lusaka clubs because it does not want the players to suffer amid the confusion and especially that registration period came to a close.
“We have not recognised any executive and what we agreed is that we register players so they don’t suffer because of the wrangles. Today (yesterday) is the deadline and players would have missed out if we did not register them, the registration of the executive will come when the club resolves its issues,” Ponga said.
Meanwhile, Chilonga added that they will not fight the other faction led by Diego Casilli over the stadium and have left the matter in the hands of Interim board chairman Chifumu Banda.
“We also want to announce that we shall play our home Division One fixtures at Queensmead, we don’t want to fight. We shall focus on bola (football) going forward,” Chilongo said. The executive committee also unveiled their kit for the 2018 season branded City of Lusaka 1970 bought at a cost of K9, 500.